Mong Palatino

Blogging about the Philippines and the Asia-Pacific since 2004


@mongster is a Manila-based activist, former Philippine legislator, and blogger/analyst of Asia-Pacific affairs.

Written for The Diplomat

The speech of Philippine President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. at the 77th Session of the United Nations General Assembly and his bilateral meeting with United States President Joe Biden could be the highlight of his recent six-day working visit in New York, but his talks in other less prominent public activities also provided a peek into his thinking and the priorities of his government.

For example, Marcos emphasized the role of agriculture in attaining food security during a talk in front of some members of the Filipino community in New York.

Marcos believes his state visit to the U.S. was a success because of the positive response to his call for unity on a global scale. What he didn’t mention was that the trip served as a symbolic victory for his family because prior to becoming president this year, he could not go back to the U.S. because he has a standing warrant of arrest for contempt of court in Hawaii.

It also went unmentioned in Marcos’ talks and public engagements that his trip coincided with the 50th anniversary of his father’s declaration of Martial Law in the Philippines. Maybe it was deliberately omitted in his speeches because he would have sounded hypocritical for talking about prosperity and openness while denying the lingering negative impact of Martial Law on the Philippine economy and democracy.

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President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. Says His Father Was Not a Dictator

Written for The Diplomat

“You can say what you want, that’s your opinion. You’re wrong.”

This was Philippine President Ferdinand Marcos Jr.’s response to those who are calling him the son of a dictator. Marcos said this in a pre-recorded video interview with his goddaughter Toni Gonzaga, a TV actress who also hosted election rallies of Marcos during the campaign period. The interview was uploaded on YouTube on September 13 and aired on a new TV network owned by a political ally of the president.

It marks the first time that the president has agreed to a one-on-one interview after his proclamation in May. It is telling that the interview was not done by a member of the press, which reflects the president’s refusal to be questioned by journalists he deems biased against his family.

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